Jefferies Downgrades Marriott and Hilton

North America
7 minutes

The DJIA fell 113 points, Nasdaq was up 66, the S&P 500 was down 3 points and the 10-year treasury yield was down .05 to 3.52%. How was that for a mixed market? Lodging stocks were mostly lower even as the only movers of note were to the upside. SLNA jumped 13%, MCG was up 7% and AHT rose another 6% on the day.

Jefferies downgraded both Marriott and Hilton to Hold, leaving only Wyndham with a Buy rating in their C-Corp coverage. They continue to favor Host Hotels and Hersha Hospitality on market exposures, demand mix and balance sheet strength. Jefferies’ downgrade was based on macro concerns and that with most aspects of the recovery played out and a looming recession, the upside to earnings and valuation for bellwether stocks is limited.

Midas Enterprises, through its hospitality division Midas Hospitality, was recently named the management company for Courtyard by Marriott Dallas Northwest. The Texas property has 146 rooms, an outdoor pool, fitness center, 1,500 square feet of meeting space and an on-site restaurant. This is the third hotel that Midas Hospitality will manage in Texas. 

1 Hotel Hanalei Bay is opening on February 15 on Kauai’s north shore. The resort will be the flagship hotel for 1 Hotels. 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay will feature 252 rooms and suites, wellness space, 3 oceanfront pools, and 7 dining and beverage outlets.

Delaware North announced the acquisition of the Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn. The 322-room hotel resort is situated in Tusayan, Arizona and marks the Company’s second hotel near or in Grand Canyon National Park. Terms of the purchase are not being disclosed. In addition to the hotel, the resort boasts five food and beverage offerings, an indoor and outdoor pool, fitness center, bowling and arcade area and employee housing. The Squire Resort at the Grand Canyon will be operated by Delaware North’s Parks and Resorts division.

VICI Properties Inc. closed on the previously announced acquisition of the remaining 49.9% interest in the joint venture that owns MGM Grand Las Vegas and Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas from Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust, Inc. for a cash consideration of approximately $1.27 billion and VICI’s assumption of BREIT’s pro-rata share of the existing property-level debt. The properties, located at the south end of the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, are subject to an existing triple-net lease agreement between the joint venture and MGM Resorts International. The lease remains unchanged and will generate annual rent of approximately $310 million upon the commencement of the next rental escalation on March 1, 2023. The MGM Grand Las Vegas/Mandalay Bay triple-net lease expires in 2050 and carries two ten-year tenant renewal options. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor and Hogan Lovells served as legal advisor to VICI Properties.

In Virginia, one of Downtown Roanoke’s most historic buildings has been undergoing a facelift over the past few years. The old Fire Station No. 1 is just a couple of weeks away from opening to the public. Old School Partners are the developers heading up the project of turning the Fire Station into a restaurant, storefront and boutique hotel. The storefront, Txtur, opened back in September. The upstairs boutique hotel has seven guest rooms as well as a large event space.

The Ahwahnee, a Yosemite landmark, will be closed through March 2 to carry out much-needed renovations. Presently, crews are renovating the kitchen. Later this year, they will carry out a major seismic upgrade. The work is being paid for with $31 million from the Great American Outdoors Act.

Cove House LLC purchased the property in Carolina Beach, North Carolina with plans to build a boutique hotel. Cove House paid a little over $1.7 million for parcels that include 207 N. Lake Park Boulevard, which holds the vacant Welcome Inn boarding house and a residence. Known for creating The Hive Boutique Hotel in downtown Wilmington, Cove House wants to build a Carolina Beach hotel that could have 42 rooms, a pool and a rooftop bar. The plan is to start the hotel project sometime in 2024. BlueCoast Realty Corp. represented Cove House LLC in the transactions, while Warwick, Matthews & Co. represented the seller, a Strickland family trust.

The owners of the recently reopened Crown Plaza Hotel in Times Square filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in an effort to resuscitate the ailing and lawsuit-plagued business. Argent Ventures wants to reorganize the finances of the hotel’s home, 1601 Broadway, having gained control of the 46-story tower in the heart of Times Square by vanquishing office giant SL Green in court and replacing Vornado Realty Trust. Argent Ventures bought, at a steep discount, the mezzanine debt on which Vornado had defaulted. The debt is $526 million on the 795-room hotel, 196,300 square feet of office space and 17,800 square feet of retail. Almost all of that, $519 million, is owned to senior and mezzanine lenders. Some $418 million in senior debt has been delinquent since April 2020. The hotel, which occupies floors 15 through 46, closed the previous month when Covid arrived. It reopened last month. The hotel paid $7.5 million in severance to laid-off hotel workers, plus another $5.2 million in severance, required by the de Blasio administration law, which Argent, Vornado and hotel operator Highgate Hotels agreed to divide evenly. 

Personnel Moves

HEI Hotels & Resorts announced the promotion of Jeremy See to the role of chief commercial officer. A long-time associate with the company, See’s latest role was senior vice president of revenue management. In his role as chief commercial officer, See will be responsible for overseeing HEI’s sales and revenue management disciplines, driving top-line business and maximizing the revenue potential of all HEI-managed hotels.

Mainsail Lodging & Development announced the appointment of Susan Marlowas Chief People Officer; Denis Cruz as Corporate Director of Retail; and Vincente Lavayen as Corporate Director of Beverage. Prior to joining Mainsail, Chief People Officer Susan Marlow was most recently Vice President of Human Resources and Talent Acquisition for Welbilt. In her new role, Marlow is responsible for the overall strategic direction of Mainsail’s Human Resources including talent acquisition, retention, training, compensation and benefits programs, leadership development and maintaining Mainsail’s culture. Denis Cruz joins Mainsail from the South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island, where he was Director of Retail. In the newly created position of Corporate Director of Retail for Mainsail, Cruz will plan and direct strategies for delivering inventory to on-property retail outlets and carefully curate products for each property in Mainsail’s portfolio. Newly appointed Corporate Director of Beverage Vicente Lavayen began his career with Mainsail in May 2019. In his new role on the corporate team, Lavayen will support Mainsail’s entire portfolio while maximizing beverage supplier partnerships. 

HVS announced that Andrew Frosch, Joseph Manuel, and Matthew Almy have joined the Brokerage & Advisory division of HVS. 

According to Sky News, Karen Jones is in advanced negotiations to become a nonexecutive director of Whitbread. The appointment of Ms. Jones, a prominent figure in the hospitality sector who recently stepped down as executive chair of restaurant chain Prezzo could be confirmed within days. 

Europe Highlights

Though it started from a lower base, hotel transaction volume in the United Kingdom rebounded in the first half of 2022, according to HNN. Deals volume was up 32% compared to the first half of 2021 while also down 32% compared to the fist half of 2019. Christie & Co.’s U.K. Hotel Market Snapshot 2022 found U.K. hotel deals in the first half of 2022 totaled 1.9 billion pounds sterling. Individual deals represented more than half of the total volume during that period. 

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced a Hyatt affiliate entered into a franchise agreement with Davos Luxury Properties AC for Hotel Flüela. Currently operating on an unbranded basis, the 50-room luxury hotel is expected to join The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand in 2023 after an extensive refurbishment. Hotel Flüela is set to be the second Swiss property to join The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand and will join the previously announced hotel in development in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, which is expected to open in winter 2023. 

The executive chairman of Peel Hotels is willing to sell any of the company’s remaining six hotels. In an interview with The Caterer, Robert Peel said he wanted to pay off the firm’s debt, which currently stands at 25% of its asset value. Over the Christmas period, a listing emerged for The Midland Hotel in Bradford with the guide price set at £3 million. Last year Peel instructed Christie & Co to market a number of its properties, including The Midland Hotel. 

Schroders purchased the 172-room Hoxton Paris and 111-room Hoxton Amsterdam for a total of 260 million euros from Sharan Pasricha, the founder of Ennismore Group. According to Hotel News Now, both hotels will be managed by Ennismore.